260-Unit High Density Apartment Complex Coming to Huntington?
By Nolan Cleary
The apartment complex developer Engel Burman has filed plans to build a controversial 260 unit apartment complex in Greenlawn, on a 24 acre horse farm and equestrian center, currently zoned for no more than 19 single-family homes.
The controversial apartment complex proposal would be constructed at the current site of Greenlawn Equestrian Center, next to the Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church off Pulaski Road.
Engel Burman has asked the Huntington Town Board to change the zoning from single-family homes, to high-density Garden Apartment Complex.
“This is so over the top," stated Huntington Town Councilman Gene Cook (R), who opposed any hearing on the proposal. "I think this is far beyond what is acceptable for the area.”
But a bare majority of the Board approved the Public Hearing - with the Board's Democratic member, Joan Cergol (D-Halesite) casting the deciding vote to allow the apartment complex to go forward.
Supervisor Ed Smyth (R) opposed the proposal, stating that Huntington already faced over-development, that the existing zoning was for 19 single family homes, and that the increased traffic would clog Pulaski Road..
Critics of the Engel-Burman proposal note that the site currently consists of horse stables and farmland, which is fast disappearing from Huntington.
"Are we really going to pave-over our precious farmland with an ugly concrete jungle of apartment boxes?" noted one Huntington resident. "This is bad for the environment."
Planning experts noted that the proposed 260-Unit Apartment Complex would be located over 1.5 miles from the nearest mass transportation hub - the Greenlawn LIRR station - and that residents would all need cars - and would not walk to the station. That violates every principle of urban planning, that calls for high-density housing to be placed close by transportation hubs, not miles away.
A spokesman for Engel Burman noted that the company does not yet own the land, but is "in contract" to purchase the land if the zoning changes are approved.
The special Town Board Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19 at 7PM at the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet Intermediate School, 155 Lowndes Avenue in Huntington Station.